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U.S. Burdened by Severe Weather; Texas Synagogue Attacker was a British Citizen; Novak Djokovic Out of Australian Open; North Korea Fires Suspected Ballistic Missile. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 17, 2022 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching "CNN Newsroom" and I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, treacherous road conditions are a major concern for millions of Americans as a vicious winter storm pummels much of the East Coast.

Djokovic deported. The Australian Open is now under way without the world's top tennis player.

Plus, North Korea test-fires more suspected missiles. The fourth time in just a month.

Good to have you with us. Well, we begin with a brutal winter storm that's been hammering much of the southeastern U.S. with freezing rain and snow. And the northeast is next. As many as 80 million Americans were under winter weather alerts on Sunday stretching from Georgia to Maine. And the effects of this system could cause problems for days to come.

States in the Appalachian region are seeing heavy snowfall and high winds. Parts of North Carolina got as much as a foot of snow or about 30 centimeters. And at least 25 counties declared a state of emergency.

Down in Florida, this system spawned tornadoes on the West Coast, which destroyed at least 28 homes and damaged dozens more. Downed trees and power lines knocked out power to nearly 300,000 customers across the southeast on Sunday.

More than 150,000 along the East Coast are still in the dark. And more than 3,000 flights were canceled Sunday, according to FlightAware, largely due to the weather -- 1,100 more are already canceled for Monday.

Well, authorities in North Carolina say they have responded to more than 400 vehicle crashes caused by the winter weather. Two people were killed when their car went off the road and struck several trees. More now from CNN's Diane Gallagher. DIANE GALLAGHER, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: The flurries continuing to

fall here in Charlotte, North Carolina. But underneath this snow is ice and that is the main concern for authorities in the Carolinas. This ice, the freezing rain, the sleet that was falling throughout the day on Sunday potentially refreezing overnight, creating difficult conditions for drivers and anybody really trying to travel in the greater Carolinas area.

More than 90 percent of the flights out of Charlotte were canceled on Sunday and airlines have said that people need to be patient. It could continue in through the beginning of the week. Now, when it comes to driving, there is a staffing shortage. The state said it may take longer to get to certain streets to clear them off, but they activated the National Guard.

They brought in assistance to help with those streets to clear them off. Again, the concern being an overnight freeze making it difficult conditions for people in the morning as well. That ice also causing power outages across the state of North Carolina, more than 90,000 reported.

And the state expects that number to go up as ice -- the heaviness of that ice brings down trees, potentially bringing down power lines. They are continuing to encourage people to stay inside and just let the system pass. Diane Gallagher, CNN, Charlotte, North Carolina.

CHURCH: And meteorologist Tyler Mauldin joins me now with the latest on the winter weather conditions. Tyler, after freezing rain and now -- and now in the -- and snow in the southeast, I should say, what's going on right now and what are you seeing in the forecast?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, now we're seeing the temperatures plummet, Rosemary, here across North Georgia and other areas of the southeast. And that means when those temperatures drop below zero whatever moisture's left out there on the road will glaze over and ice. So that is going to lead to some very hazardous driving conditions come Monday morning across the southeast.

Then you can see winter weather alerts stretching from the Carolinas all the way up into Maine as this system ejects to the north. Notice that we are already seeing some heavy snowfall across portions of the region. And also we had some severe weather push through the Maryland area as well. They had snow come over and then severe weather. Just in about four or five hours' time span.


Notice that the snowfall is moving into portions of New York and going all the way up into Massachusetts right now. We're also seeing some strong winds with this as well. In total, we expect roughly, I would say a widespread six to eight inches of snowfall in this region, but notice the pinks here. That is more than a foot of snowfall as you get up into the mountains.

And could we see some ice? Yes, we could certainly see a little bit of ice in areas. That's something we have to be mindful of as well, Rosemary. Wind advisories are up in this area as well. As the system moves up to the north, we're going to see the winds pick up. So some areas especially along the spine of the Appalachians, we could see the winds pick up to about 50 to 60 miles per hour. Those are wind gusts.

So mind you, the saturated ground and any ice that sticks to the trees with a 50-mile-per-hour wind that could cause the tree to come down that could cause more in the way of power outages. It then ejects up to the north as I mentioned and it's eventually out of here come late Tuesday on into early Wednesday.

Yet another clipper system is going to be on its heels, though, pushing over the Ohio River Valley going on into the northeast, Rosemary. So we will see more in the way of winter weather woes up here cross the northeast as we get into the mid to late week. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Tyler Mauldin, thanks so much for keeping a close eye on all of that. Just an incredible mess, isn't it? So, Saturday's hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue is being investigated in the U.S. and the U.K. after news the attacker was British. Malik Faisal Akram was killed by an FBI rescue team sent to save the hostages in Colleyville, Texas.

Now, counterterrorism police in Greater Manchester, England say two teens have been detained in that case. The synagogue was live- streaming its worship service when the hostage taking began. Audio from that live-stream caught part of the terrifying ordeal. Take a listen.


UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) I've got these four guys with me, yes? So I don't want to hurt them, yes? Okay, are you listening? I don't want you to cry. Listen! I'm going to release these four guys (inaudible). But then I'm going to go in the yard, yes (inaudible) and they're going to take me, alright? I'm going to die at the end of this, alright? Are you listening? I am going to die! Okay? So don't cry over me. Okay? Don't cry, we cannot (inaudible) --


CHURCH: International security editor Nick Paton Walsh has more on what we're learning from London.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Malik Faisal Akram from Blackburn in the north of England. According to Greater Manchester Police in a statement echoing what we'd heard from U.S. officials earlier that he is a U.K. national. And a lot of focus of course since the beginning according to U.S. authorities about what information U.K. officials can supply to them.

Now, we've also heard from his family posting on a Facebook page for the Blackburn Muslim community in the town where he hails from. They've spoken in a statement of their absolute devastation at the loss of their brother. Also talking about how they wholeheartedly apologize towards the victims of this hostage crisis. They also say how they believe he had mental health issues and say how

they as a family were in touch with police during these hostage negotiations.

The U.K. government's foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has condemned what she called an act of terror and an act of anti-Semitism, and the work of course now begins, or probably began at the beginning of this crisis between U.S. and U.K. officials to look at things like communications, travel history, to work out whether or not this was a lone figure acting on their own or part of some wider plot and were there any elements that plot may still be a threat around.

I have to say listening to the coherence of Akram in that recording of him in the synagogue and other suggestions about how sophisticated or unsophisticated, frankly, this plot was, that may point investigators towards what his family is suggesting. There could be mental health issues here. But certainly all efforts now being put in by U.K. and U.S. officials to work together to get to the bottom of this.

And I understand from our colleague Josh Campbell that U.S. and U.K. officials at this stage aren't seeing many traces of Akram in their data bases in terms of somebody they already had on their radar. But even President Joe Biden unclear it was certainly on Sunday afternoon about what the motivation may have been here. That is going to be key to working out precisely how those horrifying scenes in Texas occurred. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: And coming up, Djokovic reported. The tennis star forced to leave Australia just hours before the first major tournament of the year begins. Where things go from here, that's just ahead.

Plus, how the Djokovic saga underscores a bigger issue among some top athletes and their attitudes about the pandemic. We're back with that and more in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the Australian Open tennis tournament is now under way without world number one Novak Djokovic. The tennis star arrived in Dubai early Monday after losing his bid to stay in Australia despite being unvaccinated. And it appears unlikely he'll be welcomed back anytime soon, according to the Australian Minister of Home Affairs. Take a listen.


KAREN ANDREWS, AUSTRALIAN MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: That cancellation was upheld by the federal court. So as a result of that he will be banned from entry for three years into the country. Now, there are some compelling reasons that might be able to be looked at. But that's all hypothetical. At this point, any application will be reviewed on its merits.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [02:15:06]

CHURCH: Djokovic was deported Sunday, hours after an Australian federal court upheld a decision to revoke his visa for a second time. The judges saying Australia's immigration minister acted lawfully when he canceled Djokovic's visa citing concerns the unvaccinated star could stir up anti-vaccine sentiment.

But Djokovic is getting plenty of support back home. Belgrade lit up its tallest building in his honor, calling him the pride of Serbia. The country's prime minister has called the Australian court's decision scandalous. And for more, CNN's Phil Black joins us now live from Melbourne. Good to see you, Phil.

So, after days of messy and embarrassing moments on all sides, Djokovic is now out of the Australian Open, out of the country. What is the latest on all of this and of course the fallout?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Rosemary, I think the key thing to say is the tennis has started. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Melbourne and huge crowds have come to Melbourne Park here to enjoy the atmosphere, the opening round matches of the Australian Open. Big names already on center court including Nadal and Osaka, who won in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic was due to play in this arena tonight, as we know. But as you touched on, he will not because he has left the country. He has got at least as far as Dubai. And that's because for all his efforts the legal battles, the time in immigration detention, the raw determination, some would say stubbornness to play here unvaccinated, his lawyers ultimately failed to convince the full bench of the federal court that his visa cancellation should be overturned.

So, wherever Djokovic is now, he gets to choose where he sleeps, what he gets to eat. He's also going to have to think about at some stage how he -- how and if and when he returns here to Australia to compete in future tournaments because as you touched on, as you heard from the minister there, the visa cancellation comes with a three-year ban on entering the country.

It can be overturned, but he's got to prove at some stage that there are compelling circumstances in Australia's interest. That I guess is a discussion for another day. For the moment, and for the next two weeks here will hopefully just be about the tennis. But the reaction to Djokovic here, I think, while among Australia-Serbian community certainly disappointment.

He is a hero to them there is no doubt. But more broadly many Australians I think are satisfied with the end result of this saga. Even if the process, what they would say, the mishandling of it by the Australian government, took so long and became so messy. So the end result, as I say, the tennis is under way without the defending men's champion Novak Djokovic, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Moving forward. Phil Black joining us live from Melbourne. Many thanks. Joining me now is ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant. He's also with

Meadowlark Media. Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: In a powerful article you wrote just a few days ago that Djokovic has, and I'm quoting here, "cemented his membership within the pandemic's most infamous group, the anti-vaxx multimillionaire athlete who behaves as if his fame, wealth, and enormous platform to disseminate misinformation place him above the rest of us."

Now, since then, Australia has thrown him out of the country for doing exactly that. What is your reaction and what message does it send other anti-vaccine athletes and of course the entire sports community?

BRYANT: Well, it's a devastating blow for him. Tennis is an individual sport, and Novak Djokovic is the greatest tennis player, male tennis player in the world right now. And so he's chasing greatness. And for him to not only be thrown out of the country and unable to compete in this Australian Open, but he faces a three-year ban from the country.

So his greatest -- the place of his greatest successes is he's not able to attend for the next three years unless there's some -- unless there is some change.


BRYANT: I think that the -- I think the biggest message that it sends to me is -- it's not just to Novak. I don't think the goal is to force him to be vaccinated. I think the goal here, the message to me goes closer to Tennis Australia and to the other sports leagues and to the French Open and the U.S. Open and Wimbledon to have some uniform standards and to that you can't create these loopholes that players are allowed to travel the world and not be vaccinated.

CHURCH: Yes. It's a very important point. And you also wrote in that same article that, I'm quoting again, "athletes lauded for using their voices to benefit the conditions of others have been replaced by the pandemic-era player, beholden completely unto himself, unburdened by community or responsibility to others, using vaunted platforms to disseminate pseudoscience, to elevate and separate themselves."


Why do you think some of these sports heroes have turned out to be so self-serving during this pandemic? Some even lying about their vaccination status at a time when their voice is needed to spread the advice of public health professionals to keep everyone around them safe.

BYANT: Well, I think the biggest reason is because they don't believe they're part of this anymore. I think one of the biggest things that's happened over the past few years is that the -- this decade, whether we're talking about Trayvon Martin or whether we're talking about George Floyd or Colin Kaepernick, this decade is going to be remembered for the revival of the athletes' political voice that they became involved in social movements.

And they have completely undermined all of that goodwill during the pandemic. They have been one of the more obstructionist voices and perhaps the most vocal obstructionist voices. And I think part of the reason is because they don't believe that these rules should apply to them, that they aren't part of this, that sports had always been part of being -- part of the solution. And they no longer seem to see it that way.

I think that they really do view themselves, because their platforms are so enormous and also because their leagues didn't create any vaccine mandates that they were allowed to essentially make everything a personal choice. And it goes in line as well with really what's happening in this country as well, that there is no community and the players have really begun to reflect that.

CHURCH: Yes. And your words are so powerful. And I do want to quote you again in that same article. You say that "While Australian and citizens around the world sacrifice to resume their lifestyles by suffering through the difficult steps of vaccine mandates ostensibly for the long-term greater good, several high-profile athletes have decided the only name that matters is the one on the back of their jerseys."

Powerful words again. So, what enables these behaviors and why do some top athletes comfortably put themselves first while most others step up and do the right thing because we're really only talking about a few selfish players in the whole industry of sports, aren't we?

BRYANT: Well, I think that the reason is because we've enabled them as well. That this is what happens when you -- if you tell them they're gods and you treat them like gods, they believe that they're gods. And I think that's one of the biggest things that you've seen so far during this -- on this issue.

And I think when it comes to a player like Novak Djokovic, he's actually done a lot of great things in terms of encouraging vaccinations for others. And he's a very curious anti-vaxxer. He's not the Aaron Rodgers anti-vaxxer who tells you that you should -- that there are other different forms of treatment that you can take and that he's going to sort of play hocus-pocus with the words telling you that he's not vaccinated but immunized, the way Aaron Rodgers did.

I think for Novak this has been very much a personal choice that he's not going to get vaccinated. But at the same time the end result becomes the same because instead of doing what Kyrie Irving did, which was to say okay, these are the rules, I choose not to play by them, which is completely his right, he instead went looking for loopholes and was incredibly reckless.

Novak Djokovic is a player who wants to be known as a great -- as a great person. He's not one of these people that isn't aware of criticism. He wants to be loved and he is beloved in his country, and a lot of people really do look up to him. So that's why some of this is so bizarre in terms of his cageyness about his vaccination status and the recklessness in which he's traveled. Let's not forget, 2020 he was the one in the middle of the pandemic

before there were vaccines who had -- who organized a maskless tournament that turned out to be a superspreader event. So, it's just very, very reckless and poor decision-making on his part.

CHURCH: Yes. Some worrying history there. Howard Bryant, a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you so much for joining us.

BRYANT: My pleasure. Thank you.

CHURCH: For the fourth time in a month North Korea appears to have tested more missiles. We will have the latest in a live report from Tokyo straight ahead.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the South Korean government has held an emergency security meeting after North Korea launched two suspected ballistic missiles a short time ago. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were launched from somewhere near Pyongyang's international airport early Monday local time into the sea to the east.

CNN's Blake Essig is following developments and joins me now live from Tokyo. Good to see you, Blake. So, the fourth time in a month that North Korea has apparently tested ballistic missiles? What is going on here?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Rosemary, it's been a busy start to 2022 for North Korea's missile program. As you said, four missile tests in January alone. That's compared to two tests in all of 2021. But this recent flurry of tests shouldn't exactly come as a surprise.

That's because North Korea historically isn't known to make empty threats and these recent tests all come just a few weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised to further strengthen his country's military capability during a speech closing out its five-day party meeting.

And in a recent statement carried by state media KCNA, the minister of foreign affairs spokesperson defended the country's right to bolster its arms saying its recent development of new weapons was just part of its efforts for modernizing its national defense capability.

But before today's test, the last missile launch was carried out less than a week ago and took place a few hours after North Korea's foreign minister released -- ministry released a statement expressing frustration over new sanctions imposed by the United States. The statement said that if the U.S. adopts such a confrontational stance, North Korea will be forced to take stronger and certain reactions to it, essentially suggesting that the missile tests were carried out as a protest to the sanctions. Now, to this point, the Biden administration has taken a more muted

approach in dealing with North Korea compared to the previous administration. And according to analysts, North Korea's pretty low on the Biden administration's list of priorities at the moment. That's not a secret to North Korea and they may be trying to draw attention to themselves with the recent missile launches.


While it's not exactly known at this point if these frequent missile tests will be a pattern this year, the two countries, the U.S. and North Korea, seem to be at a deadlock.


The Biden administration has made it known that they are all for dialogue and engagement but will not drop sanctions as a price to sit down with the North. Well, North Korea also wants the dialogue to take place but is adamant that the Biden administration must first display its goodwill by dropping sanctions, Rosemary.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right, please -- Blake Essig joining us, live there, appreciate it.

Well, one of Tonga's more recognizable citizens is raising money to help out his home country after tsunami waves crashed into the islands, that story straight ahead and China's economic numbers for 2021 in the reasons why growth is slowing, back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: The Australian government says it hopes to have a better assessment soon of the damage done in Tonga by this volcanic eruption. It triggered tsunami waves that flooded parts of Tonga, there is very limited if any information coming from some of its islands. New Zealand sent a reconnaissance flight early Monday. Clouds of ash have blanketed the region for miles hindering some recovery efforts and even reaching Australia. It's now this GoFundMe page to help victims of the disaster, Tonga's own Olympic flag-bearer launched this fundraiser just a short time ago.

We turn now to CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin, who is monitoring developments for us and joins us now live. Good to see you again, Tyler. Cool. So those satellite images were just shocking and this event put the region on edge now new volcanic activity, what is the latest?

TYLER MAULDIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so the satellite image you see behind me here is of the eruption from Saturday, such a massive eruption the largest eruption that we've seen in hundreds of years.


MAULDIN: And with such every eruption as that, you're going to get little bitty tiny, smaller issues going on as well. And that's what we're seeing. So we're seeing smaller activity continue and that's going to continue for the foreseeable future. You'll also notice how massive this ash cloud is. Well, that ash cloud, as you mentioned, Rosemary is now moving over Australia. It moved over Queensland on Monday, and it was found about 42,000 to 63,000 feet up in the atmosphere at this time. No threat to aviation, you can see all that pushing over as I go through the graphic here and pushing on.

the reason why that, we see so much activity is because this is part of the Ring of Fire so you expect a lot of activity in this part. If you're part of the Ring of Fire, you're going to see some really -- some really heightened seismic and volcanic activity. And right there, is the trench. So yes, that's the reason why we're seeing the issues.

And what we saw just the other day is the tsunami wave. So the tsunami waves actually made it all the way to California. And the reason why we have the tsunami, Rosemary is because this tsunami was generated by going deep down under the water. We had landslides under the water after that volcano erupted and the caldera collapse as well, and that created that tsunami that as you -- as we've seen, has made all kinds of damage.

CHURCH: Yes, and, of course, terrified so many people. Tyler Mauldin, thank you so much for bringing us up to date on that situation.

Well, China's economy grew 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to a year earlier. That's faster than expected, but it's still the weakest growth in the year and a half. Gross domestic product expanded 8.1 percent for the entire year about what experts predicted. Kristie Lu Stout is in Hong Kong with more on the number, she joins us now, great to see you, Kristie. So why is growth slowing like this and how will China's leadership help support the nation's economy?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, one major factor is China's zero COVID policy, the zero-tolerance approach to pandemic control. China has just reported its slowest economic growth in the year and a half, reporting fourth-quarter GDP of just 4 percent. That was a little bit higher than what analysts were expecting but it pales in comparison to the first half of last year when China experienced that sharp rebound from its initial pandemic slump.

China right now is counting the cost of two things. Number one, that's the ongoing deepening property crisis. Number two, it's zero COVID policy. In many ways, zero COVID has been a good thing it has saved lives in China, it is stemmed massive and major outbreaks from taking over the entire country. But it's also come at a very steep cost, about 20 million people in China right now are under strict lockdown and many economists say that zero COVID has led to factory closures, supply chain disruptions, and the biggest hit of all, domestic consumption.

Earlier today, I spoke to a senior economist at Oxford Economics. His name is Tommy Wu. We have his statement up. And this is what he told me about his analysis of today's GDP numbers he said. "In regards to zero COVID, the zero COVID approach affects consumption, especially demand for services. He goes on to say from an economic perspective, it's better to have some sort of an easing and restrictions but we know the reality is that zero tolerance will very likely stay until the end of this year, the earliest."

Now the Eurasia group plays China's zero COVID policy at the very top of its list of global risks for this year. Rosemary, you asked the question, what do Chinese leaders plan to do about this, the fact that China's economy is slowing? Economists and analysts that we've been talking to say that they expect Beijing the leadership to step in with a number of ways to shore up China's slowing economy through tax cuts, through increases in infrastructure spending, through fiscal measures like speeding up the issuances of local bonds.

And timing is of course the essence right now. This is a very sensitive year, politically, critical year because later this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to secure that unprecedented third term as not just the head of the Chinese Communist Party, but the military and the Chinese government, back to you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, Kristie Lu Stout joining us live from Hong Kong, many things.

STOUT: You're welcome.

CHURCH: England is taking another step in easing some of its COVID rules starting Monday, people can end their self-isolation after five full days if they test negative on days five and six and have no fever.

Meanwhile, after weeks of debate and amendments, the French Parliament has approved a controversial vaccine-passed bill.


CHURCH: The new law requires proof of full vaccination for many everyday activities like visiting bars and restaurants as well as long-distance public transport. A negative PCR test is no longer enough. The law still needs to go to the Constitutional Court next week for final approval.

Another attempt to dodge vaccine mandates was foiled by Italian police after they arrested a nurse in Palermo for faking COVID injections. Captured on video here, the nurse is seen spilling the vaccine dose into gauze before sticking the needle in the patient's arm. Police say the people she pretended to inoculate were compliant. She was allegedly working with another nurse who was arrested in December for the same crime.

We've seen other attempts in Italy to fake vaccinations. Just last month, an Italian dentist tried to use a fake arm made of silicone to receive a vaccine card. His blot quickly fell apart when the nurse saw that the arm was not real.

For our international viewers, world sport with Patrick Snell is coming up next, and for those watching here in the United States, I'll be right back with more CNN NEWSROOM. Just stick around.



PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN's WORLD SPORT. On this day one of the Australian Open in Melbourne, a tournament where we now know won't be featuring top-ranked men's player in the world, Novak Djokovic. The Serbian had been hoping to defend his title and go on to try and land a record 21st Major crown. But after a lengthy legal battle over his COVID vaccination status and the cancellation of his visa, he was ultimately deported. And earlier this Monday, these images of him arriving in Dubai following a flight out of Melbourne, and now Djokovic is facing the possibility of a three-year ban from the country.


KAREN ANDREWS, AUSTRALIA MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS: That cancellation was upheld by the federal courts, so as a result of that he will be banned from entry for three years into the country. Now, there are some compelling reasons that may be able to be looked at but that's all hypothetical. At this point, any application will be reviewed on its merits.


SNELL: Well, events over the last couple of weeks, then the build-up to this year's Australian Open shore to be remembered for a really long time to come. CNN's Paula Hancocks is now from Melbourne.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Novak Djokovic leaves Australia. He leaves behind his Australian Open dreams to defend his title, signaling an end to a messy and embarrassing visa fiasco.

JAMES ALLSOP, CHIEF JUSTICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA: The amended application, they dismissed.

HANCOCKS: The unanimous decision by three federal court judges upholding Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision to cancel Djokovic's visa, citing concerns the unvaccinated player could embolden anti-vaccination sentiment here, an argument Djokovic's lawyers called patently irrational. But the judges were not ruling on the merits of the argument, just the legality.

In a statement, Djokovic said I am extremely disappointed with a court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said repeatedly rules are rules. You need to be fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption in order to enter Australia. Sunday night, he added I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe. As I said on Friday, Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the results of those sacrifices to be protected.

Others in Melbourne echoed the Prime Minister's comments that there should be no special treatment, but Djokovic's supporters spoke of their bitter disappointment.

GORAN ZABIC, NOVAK DJOKOVIC SUPPORTER: Novak, you've won the fight, but looks like he lost the political war.

HANCOCKS: Melbourne will wake up Monday morning to the start of the Australian Open, self-named the happy slam. It's been anything but so far.

Djokovic said he was uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks had been on him and wish the players and those involved in the tournament all the best. With the lucky loser already taking his place for Monday's match, the hope is the focus can finally shift back to tennis.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Melbourne, Australia.


SNELL: Thanks to Paul. In the meantime, another player looking for a 21st major title, Rafael Nadal, says if you threw his first-round match on Monday, he's looking for his first Australia Open title since 2009. He was facing the American player Marcus Giron, getting the job done in straights 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 of our advances.

Defending Women's Champ, Naomi Osaka through to the second round this Monday. The Japanese superstar beginning her quest for a fifth Grand Slam title, she won the first five games of her matchup against the Colombian player, Camilla Osorio before eventually getting the job done in straight 6-3, 6-3. A solid start by the former world number one who recently pulled out a warm-up event in Melbourne saying her body got a bit of a shock following a four-month break from the sport.

Now, the reigning Super Bowl champs have taken another step towards defending their title Sunday. Superstar Quarterback, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thrashing the Philadelphia Eagles in wildcard weekend. The Bucs were utterly dominant, leading by 17 points to nothing at the heartbeat stamp their authority on the game very quickly indeed with two early touchdowns. Both rushing this, is one of them that from Ke'Shawn Vaughn, after the interval, Brady healthy turning this through even more 36-yard pass to Mike Evans to make it 31 points with that replay. They took their foot off the gas a little bit after that. Still an easy win, it's 31 points to 15.

2019 Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs powering their way to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. A very emphatic winners' indeed, 42 points to 21 thanks for another standout performance from the Chiefs Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes in his opening round AFC playoff crash, the 26-year-old throwing for five touchdowns for the Chiefs in a 404-yard passing performance.

[02:50:00] SNELL: Mahomes' touchdowns you know, went to five different receivers and came on five straight possessions as well in the second and third quarters. Big win for Kansas City in what may also have been stated have stolen Ben Ross's biggest final game in the NFL.

Ahead on WORLD SPORT this Monday, that cup runneth over, why Real Madrid's latest Spanish Cup -- Super Cup drive as Barcelona now looking anxiously over their shoulders.


SNELL: Weekend celebrations for Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid Los Blancos winning the Spanish Super Cup for 12 times Sunday in Riyadh after they overpower the defending champs Athletic Bilbao, two nothing. Madrid taking the lead against their vast opponents on Sunday, it will be Luka Modric, who breaks the deadlock with a really nice cold finish there, and rail doubling the advantage with a penalty from Karim Benzema early in the second half. The Frenchman doesn't miss does he, actually not when Thibaut's out. Bilbao had the chance to pull one back right at the end but Raul Garcia denies by Thibaut Courtois. Real Madrid trumping in Saudi Arabia, they closed within one now of their rival's Barcelona's record a 13 Super Cup finals.

To the fallout from this weekend's Copa del Rey clash between city rivals Real Betis and Sevilla, the around of 16 tie eventually one to one by Betis Sunday, even though the match actually started a day earlier. It was illuminated by a brilliant goal straight from a corner, Nabil Fekir scoring Betis to make it one all straight in. That was quickly it was shattered though when the severe midfielder Joan Jordan is struck by an object on the head that prompted the game to be abandoned. The player couldn't play in the restarted game because of the heavy injury, and Seville will be fuming, they're now out of the competition.

The match eventually settled on Sunday, thanks to the winning goal from the challenge its Sergio Canalis. The game resuming behind closed doors, Betis through to the last eight.

Let's close to the African Cup of Nations now, two matches on the slate, four today in Group A. Burkina Faso taking on Ethiopian Cape Verde, and tournament host Cameroon also going head to head today.

Meantime, defending champs Algeria, they are in real trouble at the moment Sunday beaten Equatorial Guinea who scored the only goal of the game 20 minutes from time, Esteban Obiang with a winner. Algeria's unbeaten streak had been and has now ended at 35 just two shy of Italy's world record.

Meantime, Sierra Leone in making the most of a 26-year absence from the Africa Cup, they held the defending champions Algeria to a goal was drawn Tuesday and then they were involved in an absolute thriller against Ivory Coast, A goal from Musa Noah Kamara 10 minutes into the second half leveling the scores, wonderful stripe but the Ivorians regaining the lead through the Arsenal man, Nicolas Pepe. 10 minutes after that, it seemed as though Ivory Coast were heading for the win until some really incredible drama, that keeper Badra Ali Sangare, what's he doing there? An entry time, Alhaji Kamara approaches and equalized, the tool of the final scoring that one.

Ivory Coast is still top of group E there on four points, went ahead of Equatorial Guinea, Algeria though bottom with just a point. They must beat Ivory Coast Thursday and hope for a favorable result in the other game.

Now in Group F, it's all to play for off to Tunisia's big win against Mauritania. They made a fast start in this one, up two nothing inside just nine minutes, Hamza Mathlouthi in the scoring with an absolutely brilliant strike.


SNELL: And it wasn't long before they would double their advantage with Wahbi Khazri who plays his club footy for Saint-Etienne in France on target. Shortly afterward, Tunisia, losing their opener but they made up for it now running out winners by four goals to nil.

A won in the group between Gambia and Mali meaning those two sides lead the way with four points apiece, both goals penalties with the Gambia leveling in the very last minute of play. The group concludes Thursday.

To England where Everton's latest quest for a new manager now after -- well it's underway after veteran Spanish head coach Rafa Benitez showing the door over the weekend after just six months in charge brightens that, Graham Potter among the names being linked with the job. The final straw was Saturday's away defeat Norwich which leads the toffees just six points above the relegation zone.

Benitez's his former club, Liverpool with whom he won the Champions League back in '05 seeing Branford Sunday downfield there, first, just before halftime, Brazilian star Fabinho breaking the deadlock against initially stubborn opponents. And there was more to come from the host in the second, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubling his team's advantage to shy of the 70-minute mark. What is going on here? And then 10 minutes to go, it's the Japanese international Takumi Minamino up the bench for three-nil Liverpool in the final event. West Ham, losing three-two at home to Leeds on Sunday but they stand forth.

Sunday's North London Derby by the way, between Spurs-Arsenal, was postponed due to COVID cases. Man City, the runaway champs huge leader top the table over second place, Liverpool.

Must be a huge relief for England cricket fans right now as their country's Ashes series with Australia finally comes to an end their latest batting collapse coming in the fifth test at Hobart, Sunday needing 271 for the win. The English going along really nicely at 68 without loss, but then, Rory Burns ball by the talented Ozzie youngster Cameron Green, England, in fact, losing all 10 wickets for just 56 runs. Skipper Joe Root went for 11, England all out for a meager 124. The Aussies had long since retained the Ashes, win it by 146 rounds and wrap up a very one-sided series for nil.

Thank you so much for joining us this Monday for our teams in Melbourne and, of course, right here in Atlanta. Stay with us right through the week for the latest from the season's first to the Grand Slam, that tennis tournament it is, the Australian Open, the happy slammer.

Thanks for joining us this Monday. Stay with CNN, have a great week ahead.